When Your World Is Falling Apart Hold on to This

Many years ago, the book “Broken Open” by Elizabeth Lesser came into my life. As I was supporting myself and my loved ones through a very difficult time, the book became one of my life rafts. From what little I remember about the book now, I don’t think I had anything in common with the story. However, I would cling to each and every page of that book.

I was comforted by the fact that someone out there had it a lot worse than me. But, I’m not some evil person delighted over someone else’s suffering. I was comforted because Elizabeth shared her experiences and uncovered the deep wisdom within her trials. Each chapter assured me that I could get through whatever life threw at me and that there was a lesson hidden within each trial. It strengthened my faith in myself and gave me the motivation to continue to figure things out.

One of my favourite quotes in that book was, “We’re all bozos on the bus, so we might as well sit back and enjoy the ride,” by Wavy Gravy the clown-activist. The chapter dedicated to this quote couldn’t be more fitting for another situation than the one we are all in right now. I’ll leave you with an excerpt from this chapter that beautifully explains the deeper wisdom within this quote…and our situation today:

…I have co-opted the phrase (“We are all bozos on the bus, so we might as well sit back and enjoy the ride.” by Wavy Gravy) and I use it to begin my workshops, because I believe that we are all bozos on the bus, contrary to the self-assured image we work so hard to present to each other on a daily basis. 

…Every single person on this bus called Earth hurts; it’s when we have shame about our failings that hurt turns into suffering. In our shame, we feel an outcast, as if there is another bus somewhere, rolling along on a smooth road. Its passengers are all thin, healthy, happy, well-dressed and well-liked people who belong to harmonious families, hold jobs that never bore or aggravate them, and never do mean things, or goofy things like forget where they parked their car, lose their wallet, or say something totally inappropriate. We long to be on that bus with the other normal people.

But we are on the bus that says BOZO on the front, and we worry that we may be the only passenger on board. This is the illusion that so many of us labor under- that we’re all alone in our weirdness and our uncertainty; that we may be the most lost person on the highway. 

…It may be the first step to enlightenment to understand with all of your brain cells that the other bus – that sleek bus with the cool people who know where they are going – is also filled with bozos – bozos in drag; bozos with a secret. When we see clearly that every single human being, regardless of fame or fortune or age or brains or beauty, shares the same ordinary foibles, a strange thing happens. We begin to cheer up, to loosen up, and we become as buoyant as those people we imagined on the other bus. As we rumble along the potholed road, lost as ever, through the valleys and over the hills, we find ourselves among friends. We sit back, and enjoy the ride.

Excerpt from Broken Open

You Believe Only What You Already Believe, but You Can Be Smarter Than That

When we watch a program or read something, we are empathetic to it. So we empathize with the narrator. That is how we enjoy a program or book. If we can’t relate, we won’t be pulled in: WE WON’T BELIEVE. The brains behind the media know this. It’s how they get you to buy shit you don’t need. According to them, the empaths are called “the persuadables.” We’ve all had some friends who take advantage of this too. Empathy is a great evolutionary stepping stone, but in the Information Age it’s very vulnerable to exploitation.

What is empathy? We imagine being in another’s shoes and feel another’s pain. We visualize the story. We create an experience within ourselves. On a subconscious level, we think it happened to us. Even though we’ve never actually experienced it. We make beliefs out of it. Even though we never experienced it ourselves. We become more susceptible to believe more information that aligns with the same belief that was fed to us. We believe according to our beliefs.

When we realize the power of our beliefs, it becomes apparent how easy it is for us to fool ourselves. One path from this knowledge about ourselves is to create more beliefs out of our beliefs. As someone said, you must believe it to see it. This is in a very twisted way, correct. We will see according to our beliefs. However, blindly drowning out beliefs with more beliefs, in my opinion, is just creating a lot of noise with no voice. Clarity is key. Instead of continuing to be fooled and swayed by ourselves/others, I think it’s much better to find a way out of the mess.

The most efficient way out of a maze is to rise above it. There are many ancient practices for this. I’ll share them in a future post. Becoming aware of the problem is the first step towards a solution. These are a couple things that  you can do in your daily life to become aware. 

  • Instead of fooling yourself by believing everything you think, cross-examine the crap out of it and still leave room for being wrong. 
  • Watch or read (or listen to a friend in misery) without getting pulled into it. Notice how you can feel emotions for things that aren’t even happening to you.

You’ve got to get to a point where you can watch your mind work your body so that you can rise above it. Conquer your mind and you’ll conquer the world, as you see it!